About Andrés Spokoiny...

Stop Stopping

“Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself. Heir to a corrupt history, in which are mingled fallen revolutions, technology gone mad, dead gods, and worn-out ideologies, where mediocre powers can destroy all yet no longer know how to convince, where intelligence has debased itself to become the servant of hatred and oppression.”

— Albert Camus, Nobel Prize acceptance speech, 1957

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Law and Love (Shavuot 5778)

Have you ever heard the phrase “the God of the Old Testament”? It’s generally used to distinguish between the supposedly angry, vengeful, and severe God of the Hebrew Bible and the “Loving Heavenly Father” of the New Testament.

Even though many Christian theologians have denounced this false contrast (after all, they say, God can’t change his substance), it persists in the Western mind. It’s linked to one of the biggest misconceptions in the history of religion: the notion that Judaism is the “religion of law” while Christianity is the “religion of love”.

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Poverty: It’s About Us

By Eric S. Goldstein and Andrés Spokoiny
eJewish Philanthropy

Poverty is about other people, not American Jews.

That’s not something we hear out loud, but it does seem to be a subconscious assumption underlying too many American Jewish conversations – and actions  – about poverty.

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After the Siren: Yom Hazikaron and Gratitude

Israel has two major memorial days: Yom Hazikaron—the remembrance day for fallen soldiers of Israel and Israeli terror victims—and Yom Hashoah Vehagevurah, Holocaust and Heroism memorial day. One is a reminder of the cost of having a Jewish State; the other is a reminder of the cost of not having it.

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Why is This Freedom Different from All Other Freedoms?

There few things more delightful that getting into an argument with your teenage child about the meaning of “freedom”. No, my dear son, it doesn’t mean the absence of a curfew or being free to do your homework at the last second. No, my beloved daughter, it’s definitely not the freedom to stay out that late at a party.

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Greece and Rome: Ideas, Technology, and the Problem with American Judaism

Much of our communal energy over the last three decades has been aimed at creating platforms, leaving the content pretty much up for grabs.

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Did Haman Have a Point?

Maybe what Haman wanted wasn’t so bad after all. He yearned for a homogeneous society, one in which people think the same thoughts, obey the same ruler, respect the same law, and march together towards glory and prosperity. If a small group stands in the way of a bright utopia, isn’t it justified to eliminate them?

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Diaspora Philanthropy To Israel Is No Longer A One Way Street

Forward, February 26, 2018.

I follow Anshel Pfeffer’s column in Haaretz with assiduity. I usually find his mordant analyses profound and insightful. But I can’t help but take exception to his recent article, “Help Israel. Stop Giving It Money.”

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Tu Bishvat: Rousseau’s Social Contract and the Carob Tree

Our obligations extend to both past and future.

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The Kidnapped Goddess, The Hidden Light, and Hanukkah

Persephone was a unique goddess in Greek mythology. She lived an idyllic and lonely life in communion with Nature, far from the other gods and the endless intrigues of Zeus’ gang. The most eligible bachelors on Mt. Olympus, Apollo and Hermes, courted and wooed her to no avail. She preferred to spend her days picking wild flowers and nurturing the Earth. Hades, however—the wicked Greek god of the underworld—didn’t waste time on courtship. Instead of spending his drachmas on fancy dinners or expensive Olympian champagne, he simply opened a wedge in the Earth’s crust, emerged from his darkness, and forcefully abducted the beautiful Persephone. With Persephone gone, the Earth plunged into cold and darkness. The trees lost their leaves, flowers withered and died, and the land become bare and desolate. Humans were hungry and the gods sad.

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